Choosing a career in cosmetology is a great way to earn a living while participating in a vibrant and exciting industry. From hair care to skin care and massage therapy, the sky is really the limit in how far a career in the beauty industry can take you. The current top three cosmetology education programs are Aveda Institute, Paul Mitchell Schools, and the Xenon Academy. All of these top programs offer hands-on experience and completing one their programs will give you a strong start as you pursue an occupation in the field of cosmetology.

Top 3 Cosmetology Education Programs

  • Aveda Institutes
  • Paul Mitchell Schools
  • Xenon Academy

Aveda Institutes

This school has branches all over the world and their teaching staff is well-versed in global trends. The 64 institutes offer courses in Cosmetology, Skin Care, Massage Therapy, Nail Technology, and Spa Therapy and they likely have coursework that is of interest to you. Approximately 7,000 students graduate from their programs each year which is a strong testament to their success. Aveda also has many salons and spas which provide students and graduates good opportunities for hands on experience. Aveda believes in providing the foundation for careers beyond beauty and seeks to enhance the lives of its students. As each program track and location varies in fees and tuition it is best to contact Aveda directly for financial information.


  • Worldwide locations that offer the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures
  • High success rate of graduating students
  • Aveda’s worldwide salons provide opportunities for direct, hands-on experience

Paul Mitchell Schools

As one of the most well-known beauty brands in the United States, graduates from the Paul Mitchell Schools benefit from this name recognition and the reputation that Paul Mitchell has for top-quality products and salons. The schools offer courses in Cosmetology, Barbering, Nail Care, and also has a robust Teacher Training Program. These schools are located across the country also offer student stylists to provide hands-on and real world training prior to graduation.The school also provides education and training relating to the various licenses and state board exams that graduates will need to obtain prior to starting their cosmetology careers.


  • Real world experience opportunities while studying at the PMS
  • Solid name recognition with reputation for high quality
  • Teacher training also available to those that want to pursue that exciting career

Xenon Academy

This regional school has branches throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado. The curriculum at Xenon is supplemented with trade shows, guest lectures, and career fairs in order to give students insight into the beauty industry and what a cosmetology career looks like in the real world. The Academy offers programs in Cosmetology, Esthetics, and Nail Tech. The enrollment is on a revolving basis with courses starting almost every quarter. The students always come first at Xenon and the curriculum is centered on providing work experience during your time at the Academy. Xenon also offers a teacher training program for those interested in furthering the education.


  • A lot of real-world experience and exposure to understand the beauty industry outside of the classroom
  • Rolling admissions allow students to start at the time of year that is convenient to them
  • Top instructors and guest lecturers provide expertise and ongoing learning opportunities.


A career in cosmetology can be very rewarding and can range from working as a stylist in a salon to being a massage therapist on a luxury cruise ship. These top three cosmetology programs will give you the foundation for a successful career in the beauty industry.